This past Saturday, the Steven Alan Home Shop in TriBeCa served up a sweet deal: complimentary cold-brew green tea blends from the Brooklyn- and Japan-based purveyor Tea Wing, and cookies and tea cakes from Burrow bakery for anyone browsing the store’s wares.
Having (iced) afternoon tea at the store wasn’t completely out of left field (the Home Shop stocks Tea Wing’s products year-round), but it was the first time Steven Alan had invited Kurokawa to fill the space with her unique treats, like lemon and hazelnut tea cakes. Although she’s best known for her custom portrait cookies — uncanny facial renderings in the form of palm-sized iced shortbread cookies that can be ordered online — Burrow’s founder and sole baker Ayako Kurokawa lends the same artfulness to her many other confections.
Those who know where to find her tiny atelier-slash-storefront “burrowed away” on the entry level of a Dumbo office building are rewarded with her cream and fruit-topped layered cakes, classic French-style madeleines, buttery biscuits and cookies, and other exquisitely made tea time delights, all finished off with a somewhat modernist, dreamy aesthetic. Though her experience includes stints at the Oak Room and the Modern, Kurokawa, who has no formal culinary training, credits her Japanese background for informing her exacting approach to pastry.
Here, Kurokawa shares with T the recipe for her light, melt-in-the-mouth Coconut Snowball cookies, a favorite at the shopping event.
Yield: About 50 balls, which can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
As a tea pairing for these bonbon-like cookies, the Tea Wing founder Zach Mangan recommends Tea Wing’s iced houjicha, a roasted blend with notes of vanilla, to complement the cookies’ almond flavor.
1-3/4 cups unsalted butter, room temperature 3-1/3 tablespoons coconut milk 1-1/2 cups confectioners sugar Zest of one whole lemon 1/2 teaspoon salt 3-3/4 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 cup coconut flour 1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons shredded unsweetened coconut 2-1/2 cups almond flour Extra confectioner’s sugar and coconut flour for coating the snowballs
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a bowl, mix together the butter, coconut milk, confectioner’s sugar, lemon zest and salt.
3. Add the dry ingredients, mixing until combined.
4. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls, and set them on a baking sheet. (Chef’s tip: Use an ice cream scoop to create uniform balls of dough.)
5. Bake for 15 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through cooking.
6. Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes.
7. Before the cookies have cooled entirely, roll them in a bowl of confectioners sugar until well coated.
8. Once the cookies have cooled entirely, roll them (again) in a separate bowl of confectioners sugar blended with a dash of coconut flour.